Last week, our neighborhood farmers market opened for the year. Braving the unseasonably wet and cold weather, my wife and I visited the market. We were excited to stock our larder with local produce and food, catch up with our favorite vendors, and see a few friends. Between May and November, we plan all our meals around what is available at the market and what we grow in our own garden. Over the last several years, the market has become the focal point of our civic and social lives.
Farmers markets can be found in neighborhoods throughout most American cities. Even small towns host farmers markets. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), over 8,200 farmers markets operated across the United States in 2014, doubling the total from 2004.